Tuesday, February 27

“Marlaska, where is the pasta”: Discreet Jusapol protest in Madrid far from the NATO summit

Just over 200 members of the Jusapol police and civil guards association, from various parts of Spain, have gathered this morning in front of a roundabout in the Madrid neighborhood of La Piovera to demand wage equality with the autonomous bodies, with appeals to the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska. The act has been the main one announced by the group on the occasion of the NATO summit, an occasion that it wanted to take advantage of to “internationalize” the conflict, with relative success.

Although the association wanted to have demonstrated closer to the Ifema site, where the leaders of the Atlantic Alliance meet, the Government Delegation moved them 1.5 kilometers from the place, in an area of ​​wide avenues, typical of the Madrid expansions, with fluid vehicle traffic, but practically devoid of pedestrians who could be interested in the salary dispute. Jusapol has distanced itself from the rest of the police associations, which parked the claims after the latest increases agreed by the Government.

The act took place peacefully and with the expected attendance, according to Miguel Ángel Gómez, president of Jusapol, present at the event. The agents had announced that they intended to circumvent the restrictions imposed these days through mobile concentrations of less than 20 people. Throughout the week, their social network accounts have published videos in this regard, such as the passage of the US president’s car through a roundabout, or during a brief exchange with the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá. This morning’s incursions have been limited to rides on electric scooters and shared motorcycles through the surrounding streets, carrying banners of the association. The concentration itself began at 11:00 a.m. with whistles, bugles, tambourines and loudspeakers, with references to Grande-Marlaska regarding the perceived economic discrimination. “Answer, Marlaska, where is the dough” and the variant “Minister Marlaska, let us have the dough”, were the most repeated.

Although politicians from the more and less extreme right-wing parties regularly attend Jusapol’s events, Gómez insists that the association is “apolitical and nonpartisan.” In the act of this Thursday nobody carried extremist symbols; The closest thing to a political badge was the figure of the animated canary from Warner Brothers, Tweety, who since 2017 has been associated with the Police because his image was stamped on the cruise ship that housed the agents displaced to Catalonia for the referendum on independence. Thus, several shirts were seen that seemed to assume the name, with the angry printed character and a pungent message: “To insult us you have too much tongue, to be like us you lack balls.” In the opposite direction, the following clarification was repeatedly heard from a loudspeaker: “We are not tweety, we are police.” The reference to the testicles was repeated in some of the public address chants.

As it was a good day, the bar and the terrace of the cafeteria located just behind the protesters were quickly filled. Many of the attendees had come by bus from Asturias, Andalusia or the Valencian Community – some with their families – and the claim took on a relatively festive hue, firecrackers included. Nothing out of control, in any case, although after noon there was a certain misunderstanding between the dozen agents of the operation that controlled the group and the protesters who came and went with the motorcycles, resolved verbally after a few minutes. “Your work is being exquisite,” Gomez said of the service officials. Although the rally was allowed to last until after 3:00 p.m., the group thinned out as lunchtime approached, and by 1:45 p.m. the megaphone and whistles had gone off.